Dick Cheney caused an uproar ahead of his upcoming speech at a Wyoming legal convention after the former vice president submitted his own speaker bio bashing President Obama’s “weakening of America across the globe.”
The Wyoming State Bar invited Cheney to give the keynote address at the group’s annual convention next week, the Associated Press reported on Thursday.
In promoting the event, the organization ran into trouble after Cheney’s office submitted his own biography for the speech, which was published without any edits from the bar.
Here’s a portion of the bio:
President Bush and Vice President Cheney left office in January 2009. Shortly thereafter, President Obama began to dismantle the security policies that had kept the nation safe. His policy decisions have led to a reversal of the gains America made in the war on terror, in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, and a weakening of America across the globe.
(The text is identical to Cheney’s bio on the website for his nonprofit, Alliance for a Stronger America.)
Sharon Wilkinson, the bar’s executive director, told the AP she had heard from several lawyers who decided not to attend the event because of the politically-charged statements in the bio.
The bar eventually apologized for the bio in its magazine, Wyoming Lawyer:
Certain remarks that appeared in Vice President Cheney’s biography in the Annual Meeting registration materials have prompted expressions of concern from several members who viewed those comments as inappropriate for a Wyoming State Bar publication. In publishing the materials verbatim as submitted by the vice president’s office, the Bar was following a long-established practice. However, this incident has provided a valuable learning opportunity, and more care will be taken in exercising editorial discretion in future Bar publications. The Bar remains committed to the advancement of the legal profession in a non-political, neutral manner.
The Bar apologizes to anyone offended by the publication, and will implement measures to avoid similar situations in the future.
Jeff Stanbury, a lawyer from Riverton, Wyoming, told the AP he understood the choice to invite Cheney, who has longstanding ties to Wyoming, but couldn’t accept the institution running the Republican figure’s unedited bio.
“What I do take issue with is the statement in the biography making a declaration which is very debatable as though it is fact and present it as though it’s on behalf of the state bar and its members who are part of that association,” he said.